Greg Simmons unearths lost or overlooked jazz recordings.
Is April 15th--Tax Day, for Americans--a painful experience? Well, Saturday April 16th, 2011 has the antidote, at least for music lovers. It's been designated Record Store Day to promote the unique culture, and the experience of buying music from local, independently owned record stores. Brick and mortar shops all over the United States-- virtually all mom-and-pop establishments--will be opening early, running specials, and selling limited edition albums pressed just for the occasion. Record stores are important to a column like Forgotten Finds, which covers older and sometimes obscure releases by lesser-known artists. Without these establishments, finding music would ...read more
Being a sideman can be a thankless job. Sure, you might get to play regularly, but you rarely get to call the tune. If your boss is a big star, the gig might even pay pretty well, but if the band is going to Fargo, North Dakota in January, brother, so are you, and you weren't even consulted on travel arrangements. Of course, most jazz musicians--including the ones now thought of as great leaders--have to start out as sidemen in some capacity or another. Miles Davis started as a sideman for Charlie Parker. John Coltrane got his big ...read more
Recently passed jazz greats, saxophonist James Moody and pianist Hank Jones, were both fortunate enough to be making solid, vital recordings right up to the ends of their lives. Moody's 4A (IPO, 2009) and 4B (IPO, 2010) were as well-played as any he ever recorded, and Jones, who was still active in his last year at the age of 92, was the quintessential jazz classicist--a person younger musicians turned to when they wanted to hear something played right. Of course, neither Moody or Jones were the first musicians to leave us for that big gig in the sky. ...read more